Football Development Institute

Methodological principles

Raising the level of football on the foundation of the “Football Identity of FDI” requires implementing the “Complementary plan”, which we present as part of our “Vision”.

The mentioned scheme consists of four elements, and one of them is Education of Specialists. To implement the program as part of the original “Education System”, we also need original methodological principles and teaching concept.

Methodological goals

  • defining an individual education plan


  • knowledge sharing | “Practical Theory”

    The term “Practical Theory” was defined many years ago by Marcin Gabor. The author of the FDI concept used the phrase at every seminar, workshop and other of his public appearances, drawing attention to an important message. Practice without theory is chaos, so the order of the word cluster quoted is not accidental – theory is the basis for practical actions. It is necessary to show patience with theory, because only its acquisition allows to work at a high level. However, theory cannot be detached from practice, so it must be given a real basis, and be subject to validation under real conditions.

    “Practical Theory” is a detailed developed, structured and proven knowledge, covering all elements within the “Football Identity of FDI” and “Football Level Identification Indicators”.


  • consolidation of acquired knowledge


  • developing individual convictions and content structures


  • conversion of acquired knowledge into derived competences


  • implementation of knowledge and derived competences


  • verification of knowledge and derivative competences


Teaching concept  | COMPLEX EDUCATION

Certified specialised course

Each educational process for Specialists within the “Complex education” is inaugurated by a certified course. Football Development Institute builds specialised courses with a broad time frame, because we are determined to ensure complete program implementation. Rushing through the imparting of knowledge or learning always leads to large content losses, which is absolutely unacceptable to FDI.

The following are methodological principles and educational methodological measures.

Block system

A day of classroom sessions is divided into two four-hour blocks. Each block can take a unified structure or consist of up to two educational measures. As stationary educational methodological measures we consider:

  • lectures

  • context exercises

  • supervised project tasks

  • presentations

Time for the Lecturer

FDI guarantees the imparting of structured knowledge, with attention to content details, while stimulating the development of derived competences. For the successful realization of this complex mission, it is necessary to create the right methodological conditions. That is why we rely on the principle of “Time for the Lecturer” – at our Institute, each Expert is given at least one four-hour block during the course day. Sessions with a particular person are never shorter, but they can last longer (two blocks – a total of eight hours). In this way, the Lecturer is allotted sufficient time to implement his substantive part. The principles presented are also a tool of the Football Development Institute, placing high demands on the Experts. Unlike many other events in the world of football, the FDI – in addition to all the other substantive and recruitment aspects with regard to Lecturers – does not allow for an hour-long presentation. Repeated over and over again for ten years.

Stationary sessions | basic educational methodical measures

Important note: specialised courses of the Football Development Institute have a stationary character. So, the central role goes to the events held at our educational center.

  • lectures

    Lecture-style sessions are based on substantive content, provided by the Expert in a structured form – with the use of multimedia assistance. The lecture nature does not exclude any questioning and ongoing interaction.

  • context exercises

    A very important methodological variant, used by the Experts in charge to give course Participants a diverse range of tasks. Tasks – depending on the rules – can be solved individually, in pairs or in teams. Each exercise must be started and completed within the same time block.

  • supervised project tasks

    The form of supervised project tasks is an integral part within the second level specialised courses. An extremely important methodological measure that allows consolidation of the “Practical Theory”, enabling the acquisition of additional information and serving to convert the acquired knowledge into derived competences. As part of the tasks, course Participants – guided by Experts – work individually or in groups, working out solutions to the required issues. Each project task is based on a real scenario – actual or possible to be encountered in the Specialist’s daily work, relating to operations at the football club. The complexity of the challenge means that the project is never completed during a single stationary convention. The project task can be done only stationary or in parts developed during subsequent conventions. The project is prepared in the writing.

  • presentations

    All project tasks are subject to review by Experts of the Football Development Institute. However, not all projects, for reasons of time, can be presented to the rest of the course Participants. FDI chooses a certain part of the completed tasks – both supervised and unsupervised, organizing presentations of selected studies.


    During the classroom sessions, we explain the assumptions and present the content within the “Football Identity of FDI”, lay the conceptual, structural and content base for each theme area, transform the imparted knowledge into derivative competences of the Participants, support in starting the process of building an individual “Football Identity”, as well as provide answers to current questions. In the educational plan, we also use important complementary methodological measures in the form of webinars, printed and video materials, advisory services or project tasks for non-stationary completion, but the fundamental importance falls on the stationary conventions. The Football Development Institute is convinced that the direct form of teaching – linked to interaction – produces the best educational results.

Complementary methodological measures

In the previous section, we clearly defined the status of classroom sessions – this is the key, leading segment in the educational strategy of the Football Development Institute. However, the explicit hierarchy does not detract anything from the complementary methodological measures, which we treat as a highly substantive supplement that allows us to realize complex educational goals.

  • webinars

    A webinar is a meeting between an Expert and course Participants in an “online” mode. During webinars, knowledge is imparted on supplementary subject groups. Internet sessions also have another function – they are provided as an extension of specific issues within the thematic groups previously covered in the in-class sessions.

  • printed materials

    In order to transfer additional knowledge or consolidate aspects already presented, we provide printed materials. We are talking about scientific scripts, which contain a synthesis of substantive content, supporting questions, as well as educational guidelines.

  • video materials

    There are three types of videos provided. First, compilations of selected excerpts from classroom sessions. Second, recordings with additional knowledge elements. Third, a set of recorded webinars as part of an ongoing specialised course.

  • advisory

    Participants are given the opportunity to communicate with the selected Expert. The interaction is intended to address additional questions, clarify doubts, supplement knowledge, receive support for the realization of project tasks and the elaboration of the final paper.

  • project tasks

    Unsupervised project tasks are used during the first level of the specialised course. The main idea is identical to “supervised project tasks.” That is, each project is based on a real scenario – actual or possible to encounter in the daily work of the Specialist, relating to activities in the football club. The difference is that the project task, as a complementary methodological measure, is subject to complete remote completion. The results – in the form of solutions prepared in writing – are analysed and validated, and, additionally, some of the projects are presented during the stationary convention. Project tasks support the consolidation of “Practical Theory” and influence the conversion of acquired knowledge into derived competences, also teaching an independent attitude.

Other areas of the complex education

Specialised course is a fundamental and also a key element in the educational strategy of the Football Development Institute. However, the process of developing a Specialist – with regard to the “Education System of FDI” – includes three other areas. Advisory services are available to every course Graduate, while Educational internships and Mentoring programs have been reserved only for selected Specialists with “FDI Prospect” status. The education of the awarded individuals is conducted on the basis of an “Individual Development Plan”.

Here are the methodological principles and educational methodological measures of the three mentioned areas.


Advisory – as a form of individual collaboration – always concerns one specific topic. The consulting subject matter is indicated by the Graduate of the specialised course according to the considered planes. These are introduced in the ” Education System” tab.

The advisory service consists of three stages:

  • initial interview

  • formulating a solution by the FDI

  • follow-up consultation

Educational internships | task-based

The prestigious “FDI Prospect” title gives the opportunity to benefit from educational internships at European Clubs. Each internship takes place at a Partner Club of the Football Development Institute, relates to the represented specialised role and requires the solution of content-related tasks. In certain cases, the Trainee performs practical implementation of knowledge and derived competences, obtained in the process of FDI education, working on actual tasks in the Club’s operational activities.

Educational internships include the following steps:

  • matching of educational internship

  • assignment of content-related tasks

  • preparation of the Trainee

  • participation in an educational internship

  • preparing a summary of the internship

  • elaboration of content-related tasks

  • presenting the solution of the content-related task

  • feedback

Mentoring programs

Obtaining “FDI Prospect” status also opens up the opportunity to enter the Mentoring program. In the case of a successful application for participation in the mentoring program, FDI defines an Individual Specialist Development Plan as the substantive basis for the long-term development process. Within the framework of the Mentoring programs, the building of football intellectual foundations takes place, also the passing and consolidation of knowledge (“Practical Theory”), the transformation of acquired knowledge into derived competences occurs, as well as the gradual modeling of individual “Football Identity”. The Experts of the Institute spread wide-ranging mentorship, also supporting practical preparation for specialised roles and the forming of professional autonomy.

Mentoring includes the following methodological measures:

  • consultation

  • printed materials

  • workshops

  • problem-based analysis

  • advisory

  • context exercises

  • project tasks

  • presentations

  • summary of topic

  • discussions